Aguilera's sexy, soulful ''Genie in a Bottle'' has already granted her hit-single status. But the powers that be aren't taking any chances with this 18-year-old, preternaturally piped ex-Mouseketeer (yes, another one). They've corralled a magic carpet full of writers and producers for Christina Aguilera, a cannily made pop debut that's meant to reel in both kids and the grown-ups driving them to those 'N Sync and Brandy concerts.
When Aguilera straddles the crossover-appeal fault line (''So Emotional'') she delivers giddily delicious radio pop. But more often, she plays intergenerational Ping-Pong, zinging from lightweight, hormonal anthems (''When Mum and Dad has gone...the fun we'll have'') and who-am-I musings (Mulan's ''Reflection'') to maudlin ballads best suited to thirtysomething divas (with ''I Turn to You,'' hit-meister Diane Warren has penned a near-identical rip-off of her own Celine Dion smash, ''Because You Loved Me'').
A frustratingly erratic album -- She's Tiffany! She's Whitney! -- Christina still makes a credible bid to be the late-summer soundtrack to romantic rebound. B-
-- Beth Johnson [BOX]
Christina Aguilera Christina Aguilera RCA